Rivian Alerts Reservation Holders in CT, Urges Support of SB 127

Rivian mobilizes reservation holders for support

For those holding reservations for an electric pickup truck or SUV from new EV-exclusive manufacturer Rivian, where and how they will get possession of their vehicle when deliveries begin later this year remains unknown. Like Tesla, they are going the direct sales route. Unlike Tesla, they are just getting started and running the direct sales gauntlet in many states across the country. The issue is once again before the legislature in CT. This club supports it (SB 127). Below is the text of the letter sent by Rivian:

Dear Rivian Community Member,

Help us ensure your right to buy and take delivery of electric vehicles in Connecticut!

EV enthusiasts in Connecticut are rallying around SB 127, a bill that would enable Rivian to make vehicle sales directly to customers.

This bill’s passage means that electric vehicle companies like Rivian will be able to obtain a state dealer license directly. Without this legislation, Rivian and other EV manufacturers won’t be able to open retail sites, offer test drives, or sell directly to consumers. Don’t worry – whether or not this legislation passes, you’ll be able to buy and take delivery of your Rivian! The success of SB 127 simply protects your rights to learn about and purchase EVs in your home state.

Connecticut’s dealer associations oppose this bill. We’re asking that you and the broader EV community make your support for SB 127 known.

Here’s how you can help:

Earlier today, there was a hearing on SB 127. Rivian, other industry members, and interest groups all testified in favor. Please lend your voice by urging your representatives to advance this legislation. The easiest and most effective way to have your voice heard is to email your representative telling them you support this bill. 

Click here to find your representative and email or call saying that you support holding a vote and passing SB 127. If you’re sending an email, please also include Roland Lemar, the Chair of the Transportation Committee, as a recipient. Email: roland.lemar@cga.ct.gov.

To learn more about the benefits of direct sales, please read this blog post by the EV Club of Connecticut.

Thank you for helping us keep the world adventurous forever.

Team Rivian


SB 127 Direct Sales Bill Public Hearings Held on 2/19

SB 127 – Permit EV Exclusive Manufacturers to Sell Direct in CT

A virtual public hearing was held yesterday by the legislature for this bill. Both written and oral comments were solicited.

Of the 76 written comments and a full day of Zoom testimony, every consumer that testified was in favor of passing this bill. Not really a surprise that consumers support a consumer-friendly bill. It is still opposed by dealerships and the OEMs. Nothing has changed.

It is difficult to read the tea leaves regarding the impact of testimony, pro or con. The bill has to pass a committee vote and then be called for a vote in both chambers. We are encouraged by the large number of comments submitted and the support we are receiving.

Judging by the response in the testimony, constituents are sending a message: protecting the environment is important and consumer choice is important, more important than protecting outdated laws.

Special thanks to Senator Haskell and Representative Steinberg who submitted the bill, as well as Representatives Wood and Michel who came on board as co-sponsors.

This is a link to the full (7.5 hours) video which is posted to the Transportation Committee’s YouTube Channel.

Some relevant time-stamps:

Tesla – 1:29:58

Lucid – 5:13:56

Rivian – 6:39:27

Senator Will Haskell (bill sponsor) – 2:30:19

Mike Liebow (Tesla Owners Club) – 5:30:46 – And check out his pointed comments here

Leadership of EV Club CT:

Analiese Paik – 5:35:42

Paul Braren – 6:52:13

Barry Kresch – 7:10:40

Beats Netflix!

Thanks to all who were involved in this effort. And let’s keep at it.

Paul Braren also wrote a detailed and thoughtful piece on his blog.


This is What an EV World Could Be

Coronavirus has given us clean air. EVs could, too.

The photo above is from PurpleAir, which is a WiFi-connected, networked, sensor. The date is April 11, 2020. Individuals can buy these and the results are collectively monitored in real-time. Users have the ability to use an app to drill into the data to isolate specific geography. See all those green dots? That never happens in Fairfield County, the part of the state with the worst air pollution. It could, though. This is what an EV world (along with mass transit and bikeways) could be like.

And maybe it will be. An article in Elektrek reports that a study shows consumer intent to purchase EVs is on the rise as a result of this breath of fresh air we have been experiencing. The short-term outlook for EVs is bleak with a recessionary economy and low gas prices, but it would be a silver lining if this served to wake people up to what is possible.

This is a PurpleAir screenshot from 2018. Any value over 25 is, to some degree, unhealthy. Yellow is bad. Orange is very bad.

PurpleAir - Fairfield County air quality, Aug 2018

NASA has also published images, in this case before and after for the Northeast, showing the impact of the coronavirus social distancing measures yielding a 30% decline in nitrogen dioxide. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

NASA air quality images for northeastern US pre and post coronavirus

According to ABC News, a study conducted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that “people with COVID-19 who live in areas with high air pollution levels are more likely to die than those who live in less polluted regions.” The study reported that  “a small increase — one microgram per cubic meter — in long-term exposure to particulate matter leads to a 15% increase in the COVID-19 death rate.” They caution that findings are preliminary. It certainly makes intuitive sense.

As reported in the LA Times about a recent clean-air day in California, “If I could wave my magic wand and we all had electric cars tomorrow, I think this is what the air would look like,” said Ronald Cohen, a professor of atmospheric chemistry at UC Berkeley who has been studying the effects of the stay-at-home orders on air quality.

Coronavirus is a high price to pay to experience cleaner air. With the expanded use of EVs, we can keep it that way.

Free of Charge

As in charging your EV for free!

As reported in Elecktrek, the charging station company, Volta, announced the upcoming installation of 150 level 3 DC fast-charging stations nationally with no fee-charging for the first 30 minutes (equates to roughly 175 miles). The first of these will be local, in Norwalk, CT, at the new mall that we’ve all seen under construction near as we’re sitting in traffic near exit 15 of I-95.

The mall is called The SoNo Collection and the scheduled opening is October 9th. So by the time you see this blog post, it should be ready to go.

Volta uses the CCS standard.

The article that we’ve linked to has all of the details, but we think it’s pretty cool that free EV charging is being used by businesses to attract customers. Also, the charging stations carry advertisements, and from their website, we see that media sales revenue is part of the company’s business model.

Their slogan, as can be seen in the photo above, is “Fast is Now Free.”

EV Showcase on July 14 at Fairfield Farmers Market

EV Showcase at Fairfield Farmers Market

The EV Club of CT is pleased to showcase 6 electric vehicles at the July 14 Fairfield Farmers Market at the Sherman Green in Fairfield. Please shop the market and visit us at the showcase in the parking lot behind the market from 10 am until 2 pm to check out the cars and discuss all things EV. This event is designed to help consumers make the transition to EVs.


Gas and diesel-powered vehicles are the largest contributors to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and a large proportion of urban air pollution in the US. Switching to electric vehicles makes for a quiet and clean ride with zero tailpipe emissions and a fraction of the maintenance since there are so few moving parts.

EV Showcase July 2019

The EV Club of CT will be showcasing Tesla models X, S and 3, a Chevy Volt, a Nissan Leaf and a BMWi3 to help guests learn about electric cars on the market, how easy and convenient they are to maintain, how much fun they are to drive, what smart and autonomous features each offers, and how to charge them at home and on the road.

Incentives from the state and federal government can significantly reduce the cost of a new EV (purchase/lease) and many affordable used electric cars are now on the market, including the Certified Pre-Owned BMWi3 being showcased.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Written by Sarah Donavan

Reducing Carbon Emissions

I am a global warming alarmist, and as such, it would be specious of me not to take action to reduce my carbon footprint.  So . . . I hang my laundry outside (as long as it will get above freezing). I set my thermostat to 65°. My major appliances are set to run on electric off-peak hours, including my whole house fan, which is my only form of air conditioning. Believe it or not, there are immediate benefits to these actions.  My husband’s gym clothes smell wonderful, I keep moving in the winter and I structure my days around a late day swim in the summer.  Additionally, the monetary result of using mostly off-peak power is that we pay less to the utility company! The only carbon reduction resolution that has cramped my style: my rule of thumb not to drive anywhere unless I can accomplish three things.

As my most recent car reaches the end of its viable life (10 years and counting), I am excited to acquire an all-electric car. Since I have always driven Audi, I reserved my all-electric vehicle the night of the Audi e-tron launch party.  While waiting for my new e-tron to arrive, I gave thought to how I was going to charge this car.  What made me decide to install a “solar system” was an article I read in Popular Mechanics that said the fastest payback for solar roof panels was to use the power to charge an electric vehicle.  This is logical to me, as gas is a more expensive source of energy than electricity or heating oil.  The added benefit: charging my car on electrons from the sun will be carbon neutral.

Moving Beyond an EV

We had other objectives as well.  After experiencing 6 powerless days in the wake of Sandy, we wanted an emergency backup system, and we knew that we might not always be home during the day to take advantage of the sun.  We approached Solar City and sized a Power Wall and solar panel system to meet our bare bones needs, both for the house and “generator” (the power walls). The only bummer: we must power the Level Two charger that we installed from the grid, as the power draw will overwhelm the solar and battery system.  But most of our day-to-day electric car charging needs can be addressed with Level One charging, which we can get from the solar cells.

While looking into all these options, we were lucky enough to come across the Electric Vehicle Club, where we are able to compare notes and get up to date information from other club members who are also convinced that electric cars are the way of the future. Many members have their own path toward sustainability, and it is great to hear the new ideas! Many members have had their electric cars for years and it is great to hear that they are still enthusiastic.

We have almost completed installation, and my e-tron is on its way! The Tesla installers were clean, courteous, and professional. I look forward to updating the saga with facts and figures once we get an idea of how the system runs.

Charging Up Consumers To Drive EVs

How to Sell an Electric Vehicle

One of the local automobile dealers once told me that the best way to sell an EV was to take it one customer at a time. Let the prospective customer take it for a test drive that might last a day or even a weekend. De-mystify the vehicle and the experience of charging. The most important thing is to let the driving experience speak for itself. Until people actually use them, they don’t realize how much fun they are to drive and how easy they are to use.

Of course, for this test drive scenario to happen, the customer has to already be at the dealership. But taking this concept a step further is the strategy behind the national series of Electric Car Guest Drive events staged by the publisher of Electric Car Insider to extend the reach of EV sampling to a larger public. In these events, EV owners allow members of the public to take a short test drive of their vehicle with the owner in the passenger seat. It allows for a free-flowing, informal, and friendly discussion about how to drive the car, the ins and outs of charging, and the EV driving experience in general.

Electric Vehicle Guest Drive

The EV Club of CT participated in one of these Electric Car Guest Drive events on May 16th and 18th. The 2-day event was held in Pearl River, NY at the offices of Orange and Rockland Utilities, which sponsored it. (Utilities realize that they are the new “gas stations.”)

Orange and Rockland Signage Photo: Barry Kresch

Approximately 500 people attended over the two days with about half of them taking test drives. There were 12-15 cars available each day with drives conducted on a 1.3-mile pre-planned course. The vehicle makes represented included Tesla, Chevrolet, BMW, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, and Audi. There were both battery electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid models. Based on my informal observation, the vehicle that got the most attention was the Tesla Model 3.

Rider Changeover Lane Photo: Barry Kresch

Personal Experience

As an owner and a newbie at this guest-drive thing, I admittedly approached the event with a little trepidation over allowing strangers to use my vehicle. Every other EV showcase I have attended (and I will cop to the fact that there have been way too many) either did not involve test drives (most of them), or had test drives offered by a limited number of participating dealers or Tesla reps. Given that this format has no sales pressure and a lot of EV owners present, there were many more people able to get behind the wheel.

I have been plugging in since 2012 and have lots to say about driving electric. Even 10 or so years into the modern EV era, we’re still considered early adopters and tend to be an enthusiastic bunch, champing at the bit for EV sales to get moving up that S-Curve. I had to restrain myself so that the test drivers could ask questions and I could get a sense of what they knew and what their pre-conceptions were. With respect to the Chevy Volt I was driving, many people still don’t understand the concept of a plug-in series hybrid. They were surprised at how much gas it saves and that its ride is closer to a Tesla than a Prius. These interactions turned out to be a lot of fun, and I get to opine on which options I think are worthwhile without having to worry about a sales manager looking over my shoulder. Interestingly, I also fielded a number of questions about buying a used EV, an important component of market growth.

Does It Work?

All of which leads to the big question: do these events accelerate adoption? Apparently, they do. In a big way. According to ECI publisher, Chris Alan, 30% of those taking a test drive purchase an EV within 6 months. (We’re not saying what we put in the lemonade.)

There will be more of these events coming to a city near you. Stay tuned!

EV Club at Maker Faire Westport

The glimmer of blue sky in the photo was a brief break in the otherwise cloudy, cold, and windy spring day on which the 8th annual Westport Maker Faire was held.


The EV club was there in force with a Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3, BMW i3s, BMW i8, Jaguar I-Pace, and Chevrolet Volt in a joint exhibit with TecKnow Smart Home Automation and Ross Solar – smart homes, smart cars, and renewable energy.


Visitor traffic from attendees was steady throughout the day. Club members were on hand to provide information about the vehicles and what it is like to drive electric. The number of EV options is proliferating, and these showcases are a good way for people who are pressed for time to gain an understanding of the types of cars that are available and what driving electric is all about.

Summon feature on Tesla
Young “driver” in a Tesla

The Tesla “summon” feature was a big hit with visitors and allowed some youngsters to get their first taste of “driving” electric (safely and legally, of course – part of our nefarious long-term plan for all 6-year olds to demand to drive EVs when they get their license in 10 years.)


A few specifics about the vehicles present at the showcase:

Tesla Model S – 370 miles of range with long-range option.

Tesla Model X – 325 miles of range with long-range option.

Tesla Model 3 – 310 miles with long-range option.

(Note: these are current ranges – Tesla has improved the maximum range over time.)

BMW i3s – 153 miles of range (plus another 47 on gasoline with the optional range extender gasoline engine).

BMW i8 – This is a plug-in hybrid which gets 18 miles of electric range before the gasoline power kicks in and extends the range for another 312 miles at 38 MPG.

Jaguar I-Pace – A battery electric vehicle like the Teslas with a range of 234 miles.

Chevrolet Volt – A plug-in hybrid with 53 miles of electric range and another 370 miles on gas at 42 MPG. This vehicle has been discontinued by GM as of last month. The final model year is 2019 and there are is still some availability.

EV Showcase – Transportation Day at Discovery Museum “Climate Week”

Two Teslas, Two LEAFs, a Jaguar and a BMWi3 – these are the cars EV Club of CT members displayed at the EV Showcase at Discovery Museum & Planetarium’s “Climate Week” Transportation event on Thursday, April 17, 2019, from 11-1. Guests who visited the showcase ranged from families with small children, to Museum board members to various presenters at the event including Katie Scharf Dykes, the newly appointed Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP). Various Club members expressed our support to Commissioner Dykes for extending the CHEAPR rebate for BEVs and other alternative fuel vehicles beyond 2019 to further incentivize EV purchases and rapidly expanding the adoption of electric buses for public transit and schools, perhaps with grants.

As enthusiasts, we all sang the praises of our EVs and underscored their benefits including zero tailpipe emissions, ease and low cost of maintenance, positively contributing to the decarbonization of the transportation sector, taking personal responsibility for improving public air quality, and advancing the adoption of EVs in the state by making the cars visible.

Sunny and warm weather allowed EV Club member Dawn Henry to entertain guests with her Tesla Model X’s performance of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s iconic rock Christmas song, Carol of the Bells. Watch the video below to see what we mean by performance – lights, doors, wings, mirrors – the car was literally dancing to the music while putting on a light show. Squeals of delight from small children could be seen and heard as they broke out in dance right along with the car. The X got a big round of applause at the end. For an encore, guests were invited to a little lighthearted toilet humor: Emissions Testing Mode with all 6 whoopee cushion sounds. A real hoot.

EV Club member and TecKnow founder Phil Levieff’s Tesla Model S wowed guests with its ability to be summoned on command from its owner. The car’s sensors stop it immediately if it nears any object. Smart, connected living – via cars, phones, smart homes, solar power and Tesla Powerwalls – are his expertise and guests were invited to learn more at the Westport Maker Faire on Saturday, April 27. The EV Club will be presenting a showcase as part of TecKnow’s “The Future is Now” smart living experience at their Bedford Square office.

Eugene Tomachinski, an EV Club member and owner of Eugene’s Green Garage, brought a 2016 BMWi3 Rex, which is for sale as a Certified BMW used vehicle with 18,000 miles.

EV Club member David Symington from Jaguar Land Rover of Fairfield brought a brand new Jaguar I-Pace SUV for us all to check out and promised to bring another to the next meeting. The car was just awarded the World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show!

Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar I-Pace
Photo: Barry Kresch

Analiese Paik and Jackie Eskin displayed their white 2016 Nissan LEAF and 2012 light blue LEAF, respectively. Comparing them side by side was useful in learning how much changes so quickly in EV technology, but both have steering wheel warmers.

Please join us at the Maker Faire or our next meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 pm at the Higgins Group offices at Bedford Square.

Join the EV Club and Sustainne at the Wilton Zero Waste Faire

Please join the EV Club of CT there! 

Teslas and EVs at Wilton Zero Waste Faire

Visit our EV showcase featuring a Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 and more in the parking lot. Come inside – it’s free – to visit us at our exhibitor table where we are part of the Sustainne https://sustainne.com/zone featuring an immersive sustainable living experience.

We look forward to offering you the opportunity to learn from enthusiastic EV owners about how easy and fun it is to drive an EV, and get your questions answeredabout safety, charging, servicing and more as we lounge in the Conversation Zone filled with comfy furniture courtesy of The Junkluggers.

Sustainne is a proud sponsor and Green Partner! The Junkluggers is a Silver Sponsor and is hosting the Conversation Zone to foster dialog around zero waste and sustainable living. Bring your used textiles to recycle on the Bay State Textiles truck and junk to recycle on The Junkluggers truck (first 100 guests only).

Bring the whole family to enjoy Sustainne’s immersive sustainable living experience featuring a zero waste tiny home, zero waste tiny greenhouse, a raised bed with edible crops, a chicken coop, a composting system, beehive, a rainwater harvesting system, an electric scooter, rescued and upcycled furniture and art and more!


The Zero Waste Faire is a special event designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and engage the town of Wilton and neighboring communities about zero waste living. With your participation, this event will be even more dynamic than last year’s, which received broad accolades, featured over 100 exhibitors, and had an attendance of over 1000 people of all ages from CT, NY and MA.